I’ve been away birding and guiding much of this spring so haven’t
contributed to life here on the list, but I couldn’t resist offering
some extra congratulations to Barbara Powers for locating a
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher in Vermont. She is now among the few who have
seen in our state two of the hemisphere’s most stunning Tyrannus
species: Scissor-tailed Flycatcher and Fork-tailed Flycatcher.
I may be remembering this story wrong, but it begins with Bea Guyett’s
discovery of a Fork-tailed Flycatcher in Ferrisburgh in June of 2000.
Shortly after Bea’s great find, Peter Matthiessen was in Vermont to
address the annual gathering of The Nature Conservancy. Peter offered a
lively talk -- on cranes and tigers, as I recall – with a diversion to
an election-year thumping of George W. Bush and Al Gore alike. The TNC
event was near the Fork-tailed Flycatcher spot. So a number of us,
including legendary Vermont birder (and Peter’s friend) G. Frank Oatman,
ushered Peter to South Slang. We were all assiduously searching for the
bird, each no doubt wanting to be the first to find it for Peter.
Suddenly, I recall hearing (much to my dismay) Barbara calling out,
“I’ve got it over here!”
I’ve birded only occasionally with Barbara Powers, but have found her to
be a skilled and perceptive observer, which is true even if I messed up
and it wasn’t Barbara who beat all of us Peter’s flycatcher.
Those of you who weren’t around in 2000 can still see this bird at
remnants of Scott Morrical’s pioneering and once-invaluable site for the
birding life in Vermont: http://www.uvm.edu/~smorrica/forktail.html
Vermont Bird Tours
PO Box 121
Plainfield, VT 05667
NOW BIRDING SPRING MIGRATION IN VERMONT * MAINE THIS FALL
Details at www.VermontBirdTours.com
Bryan's Photography - www.WingsPhotography.com
Bryan's Consulting - www.WingsEnvironmental.com